Children and adults alike can have a real phobia or anxiousness when it comes to the dentist. It could be from childhood trauma from an unprofessional dentist or one who lacked compassion. It could be from a lack of information and support during dental visits or a treatment that went badly. Whatever the reason is, thoughtful dental practices will work with you to manage and hopefully overcome your fears or nervous feelings toward dentists and regular procedures. The more comfortable and at ease you are, the more likely things in the dentist’s chair will go smoothly. Try a few of these suggestions to reduce anxiousness before your next dental checkup.
5 Tips to Reduce Your Anxiety About Visiting the Dentist
1. Dentist Research
When looking for a dentist that is sensitive to your needs, referrals are always best – especially if you know someone with the same levels of nervousness at the dentist. Online reviews and searches are helpful as well, but be careful. Many practices put out an empathetic message that doesn’t match the actual staff in order to attract more patients.
2. Friend Support
Bringing a friend may be helpful to you, but it may not always be encouraged with space for dental procedures and restrictions imposed by the practice. However, in special cases, a dentist may be able to accommodate certain times or days of the week.
3. Treatment Discussion
Sometimes anxiety before a dentist appointment stems from the unknown and questions about a particular procedure. Perhaps you would feel more at ease if you were able to have a consult prior to the visit. In an office setting instead of the dentist chair, discuss your treatments and any questions or concerns to alleviate nervousness about what is to come.
4. Self Mantras
It may seem a bit silly to some, but the mind is a powerful thing and so is what you say to it. A mantra, a positive reinforcement, or a repetition of a comforting word may be the key. When you get to your appointment, try focusing on your mantra.
5. Distract Yourself
Many dentists will provide distractions such as movies or music to help you relax, but if you have music, podcast, or spoken word that takes your mind off the visit, ask if you can wear headphones to play your own distractions. You may even be lucky enough to choose the movie or at least the genre to help you. It doesn’t hurt to ask!